Annotations and comments

has posted 1,110 annotations/comments since 9 March 2007.

Comments

About Sunday 12 May 1667

Mary K  •  Link

We know that Pepys hated it when Elizabeth followed the fashionable women of the beau monde in wearing face-patches. I suspect that white locks (presumably false hairpieces) fell into the same category; the court celebrities may perhaps have worn them (not that we see them in their portraits) but he deemed them totally unsuitable for the wife of a serious, and seriously rising, man. Perhaps Knipp favoured them? How many middle-class men today would really enjoy their wives appearing in public clad and made-up like certain "celebrities"?

About Friday 10 May 1667

Mary K  •  Link

Also please note that Phil established this website entirely voluntarily, never anticipated that it would gain the world-wide reputation that it has, has run it magnificently through two runs of the diary and merits our undying gratitude. There are no "webmasters", just Phil the Magnificent and Magnanimous.

About Sunday 12 May 1667

Mary K  •  Link

"we know for sure they no longer sleep together..."

Not at all sure about that. Pepys is working in his chamber (which is not necessarily his bed-chamber) and is up and about earlier than Elizabeth. That's surely all that can be drawn from this narrative.

About Friday 10 May 1667

Mary K  •  Link

I haven't found any pictures of 17th century lock-picks yet but any modern ones would be far too slender for removing stones from horses' hooves.

About Thursday 9 May 1667

Mary K  •  Link

"lie down" just reminded me of the old term for a maternity hospital; a "lying-in hospital".

About Saturday 8 June 1667

Mary K  •  Link

Boiled smoked/cured ham or gammon is far from awful and very far from bland. You really wouldn't want to tackle a joint of it uncooked and it's often too salty to eat roast. Simmer long and gently and you have a delicious dinner.

About Thursday 9 May 1667

Mary K  •  Link

A rather course (coarse?) way of saying .......

Not necessarily coarse. Pepys may be using "looks to" in the sense of "expects to."
e.g. "I look to receive an answer by return of post"

About Saturday 16 January 1663/64

Mary K  •  Link

According to "Inns and Taverns of Old London" by Henry C. Shelley. (published Boston 1909) King Street in Westminster appears to have been well supplied with taverns, though the only two specifically named in the 17th Century are The Leg and The Bell. The Bell had quite a long history and its existence was documented as early as the mid-15th Century.

That Pepys calls it a cabaret is surely just part of this attempt at franglais obfuscation. The Bell becomes La Cloche, King Street the route du roy. As for privacy, being an ancient establishment it may well have had one or several dark little corners where any amount of hanky-panky might be pursued in late afternoon without too much fear of being observed.

The above publication has a wealth of information about taverns and inns in all parts of London proper and the surrounding areas (e.g. Westminster).

About Sunday 21 April 1667

Mary K  •  Link

pairs of things.

"A pair of stairs" generally referred to a stairway which doubled-back on itself half-way up: a necessary arrangement in smaller houses where one full-height stairway would have occupied too much ground-floor space. Thus one effectually had two, short flights of stairs divided by a small 'landing' where one turned through 180 degrees to complete one's ascent.

About Wednesday 9 July 1662

Mary K  •  Link

Chapter 9 of Claire Tomalin's Samuel Pepys: the Unequalled Self answers these questions for you (she answers many other questions too) - but the information is also here in the Pepys blog if you look for it.
For really useful background reading try Liza Picard's Restoration London.
Both books are well-regarded. As SDS says, good hunting.

About Friday 12 April 1667

Mary K  •  Link

Indeed, within living memory it was not unknown for the local bobby to administer a quick clip round the ear to a young miscreant.

About Wednesday 9 July 1662

Mary K  •  Link

If you go back to the beginning of the diary, read all the relevant annotations, click on all the highlighted links, consult the Encyclopedia section, read the In-depth articles etc. you will find that many /most of your questions have already been answered and explored by readers/annotators who have been participating in this blog for the last 15 years or so. It is now on its second run-through of the diary.

About Saturday 30 March 1667

Mary K  •  Link

a most summer evening.

L&M show the same text. So what is Pepys saying here? Has the weather suddenly turned warm? Or is this just the sort of evening that one might enjoy in summer - a visit to the playhouse, a glimpse of some attractive acquaintances and a companionable walk home with a colleague?

About Saturday 23 March 1666/67

Mary K  •  Link

I think that Phil should be proposed for an MBE. He's done more to bring the wonderful world of Samuel Pepys and England in the turbulent mid-17th century to a whole, world-wide community than many a more orthodox teacher of history and more than several other MBEs that I can think of.

About Monday 18 March 1666/67

Mary K  •  Link

for Pretend = claim
cf. also The Old Pretender (James Edward Stuart) and the Young Pretender (Bonnie Prince Charlie) claimants to the crown in the Stuart Succession after the Glorious Revolution of 1688.

About Monday 25 February 1666/67

Mary K  •  Link

Lay long in bed etc.

However, it may be a somewhat different tale the next time that Elizabeth's kitchen accounts fail to tally.

About Saturday 16 February 1666/67

Mary K  •  Link

That combination of Betty Martin's boldness with Samuel's lack of exhilaration (defessus) sounds as if our hero would prefer a little less up-front readiness to "oblige' in his doxy. Is the excitement going out of the liaison? The risk of being caught out in a coach when one's wife is close by must add a certain titillation to an encounter.

About Tuesday 5 February 1666/67

Mary K  •  Link

So Betty gave Samuel her hand "very frankly"

Does this mean that she reached through the side-slit in her own petticoat (the slit through which ladies of the time normally reached for their own pockets/purses) in order to guide Samuel's had to its destination? Sounds like it.

Surely this took place in the darkened coach on the way home ("so set her at home") rather than in the candlelit theatre. Samuel's accounts of theatre visits show that members of the audience could be quite as interested in observing one another as they were in watching the actors.